Hop into new brews

With the 2012 hop harvest in, watch for the seasonal, hop-focussed brews. Even before firing up its brew kettles, Tasmania’s Cascade Brewery (part of Foster’s), announced plans to hand harvest hops on 14 March.

Each year the company uses experimental hop varieties in its limited release Cascade First Harvest ale. Malted barley used in the brew is also from Tasmania’s 2012 harvest.

Head brewer Mike Unsworth says he’ll use three varieties this year, all grown at Bushy Park Estates in the Derwent Valley – but named after historic Tasmanian hop-growing regions.

The varieties are Campania, for bitterness, Triabunna, for flavour, and Ellendale, for aroma.

By 18 March, Unsworth had the brew under way. Cascade expects to release 3,600 cases (24 375ml bottles) of First Harvest in the first week of May through selected retail outlets nationally – principally Dan Murphy, 1st Choice and Vintage Cellars.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 4 April 2012 in The Canberra Times